Kentucky coach Joker Phillips was not pleased that sophomore cornerback Martavius Neloms was ejected in the fourth quarter for throwing a punch at Vanderbilt receiver Udom Umoh after he indicated the Vandy player swung at him during UK's 38-10 win.
Both players were called for personal fouls and ejected from the game.
"I'll tell you one thing that I'm really disappointed in, before we go anywhere else with this thing, is I'm really disappointed in the personal foul. We will not be that team. We will not be that team that has personal fouls. We will not be that team that's throwing punches, and I'm disappointed in that," Phillips said.
"We will get that corrected. It's really ridiculous for a guy to retaliate after somebody has thrown a punch on him. We will not tolerate that from our players here at Kentucky. It's not what we're about. We will not be about those types of things, throwing punches."
Several times during the game Neloms had skirmishes with Vandy receivers after plays ended. He exchanged pushes several times and was seen at least once taking a swing at Vandy's John Cole, a former Somerset standout.
"He mentioned, 'Am I supposed to let the guy punch me?' Yes, you are. You are supposed to let the guy punch you all day. Then from whistle to whistle, you punch him with your pads, not with your fists," Phillips said. "So, yes, it was building up all day. He cannot get frustrated with that. He's got to continue to play. He's one of our better players, one of our better tacklers. We cannot afford to have Neloms on the sidelines with us."
Yet he might be for the season-ending game with Tennessee depending on how his ejection is interpreted.
"If it's for fighting, he's out. If it's for punching, I think he'll be able to play next week. We got to get a ruling from the conference office and go from there," Phillips said. "But it's unacceptable. Unacceptable. It falls on me. I just grabbed him and told him, he's building a résumé. He's building a résumé with his play. His résumé up until this point has been pretty good. And now he has that on his résumé. That's not good.
"But he will get it corrected. Hopefully somebody punches him next time, somebody soon, so we can see the correction."
Phillips not happy with Neloms
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